Why Does My Business Need a Content Calendar?Dec 20, 2020
You are busy managing your business: setting sales appointments, training employees, talking with clients and vendors... putting out fires. You have the best intentions. You want to use content to market your business, and you understand the value of video marketing--but the days get away from you, and before you know it, another week has gone by and you haven't posted new content to your website, or shared video, graphics, or any sort of thought leadership content to social media.
THIS is why you need to create a content calendar and stick to it.
- A content calendar provides a roadmap. It's hard to post consistently if you have to start from scratch each day. Your content calendar keeps your content in line with your overall strategy by giving you a calendar of topics and headlines that you identified as being a priority when you planned for the year or quarter.
- A content calendar helps you stick to a schedule. When you're busy running a business, it's easy to let weeks go by without posting a blog, adding a marketing video to your website, or posting on social media. Your content calendar serves as a reminder that you have work to do!
- A content calendar keeps you from scrambling wondering what to post. Without a plan, you'll waste too much time trying to come up with ideas. When you develop your content strategy, and add titles to the calendar, you have a running list of ideas that are directly related to your marketing strategy.
- A content calendar helps you map out the big content and all the associated content so you can plan. Have you ever wondered how some organizations can crank out massive amounts of content? It starts with a plan, and as part of that plan, they identify the smaller pieces of content that go along with the cornerstone content. (We like to start with a blog post, a video, or a podcast and then break that into smaller content pieces to use on social media, on landing pages, in resource centers, and in the sales process.)
How to fill your content calendar with ideas:
Brainstorm! Use the ideas below to come up with long lists of topics to fill your content calendar. At this stage, don't go for quality, seek quantity. It's easier to start with a long list and pare the list later.
- Start with common questions/FAQs your team is asked often.
- What things do you wish clients/customers knew about you?
- What keywords do you rank for already? Which keyword opportunities would you like to rank higher for?
- What holidays are in the month ahead? What marketing holidays can you tie into? In February, we have National Pizza Day (February 9th), Valentine's Day (February 14th), Love Your Pet Day (February 20th), and the Golden Globes (February 28th). Are your customers interested in any of these? Can you create an event, a sale, or a cheesy post about any of these?
- Tap into hashtags! In addition to Hashtag Holidays, you can gain traction by getting onboard with weekly hashtags like #MotivationMonday, #MarketingMonday, #TuesdayTrivia, #WednesdayWins, #ThrowbackThursday, or #FriYay. You should also identify industry-specific hashtags to use to help your content get additional attention on social media, which can also be a helpful tool for coming up with themed content.
How should you structure your calendar?
- Calendars can take on all forms, but a simple Word or Excel doc will do the job. Decide how many times a week or month you want to post. Then, plug in the dates you want to post each week.
- In the column beside the date, list a working title.
- Reserve a column to track the status of each piece of content. Know where your team is in the process of developing each. Is it being outlined? Is it being written? Is it with a graphic designer? Know who is responsible for each task and track it on your spreadsheet or in a project management system like Monday, Trello, or Basecamp.
- Identify how you plan to use and repurpose each piece of content. Allow time for social media quote graphics to be created, or for your team to add your video to the social square you'll share on LinkedIn. Then track the development of each piece of content throughout the process.
How to use and store your content:
- As each piece is completed, save it to a folder on your company server or in Google Drive or Dropbox.
- Come up with a naming convention so you can easily tie each piece of related content together. You could organize pieces by month they were created, but a year from now, you won't remember which content you created in each month. One organizational idea is to save content by topic and to create sub-folders with the social graphics, videos, audiograms, blog posts, and images related to each topic.
- Saving content by topic will make it easier for your social media team to pull related content for sharing on your social platforms one month from now, or two years from now. And, there's the added benefit of making content easy to find when a salesperson is looking for information to share with clients and prospects. (It's already in a folder labeled with the keyword they are looking for.)
Implementing these ideas will give you a solid roadmap to follow. And, knowing what you will share is 50% of the game. You'll still need a plan to get the content created, and a strategy for posting it on all the platforms you'll use.
If you want help at any step of the way, Iris Digital Media Group can help! We can generate ideas for your content calendar, create the calendar, develop the content, and schedule and track the effectiveness of the strategy. Reach out when you're ready to discuss taking your strategy to the next level.
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